Kathmandu, July 30 (IANS) China topped in pledging Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to Nepal during the 2016-17 fiscal that ended in mid-July, Nepal’s Department of Industry (DoI) has said.
China has been topping in investment commitments to Nepal in the last few years, Xinhua news agency cited the DoI data as showing.
China pledged 8.35 billion Nepali rupees ($81 million) followed by India with 1.99 billion Nepali rupees, and South Korea pledging 1.88 billion Nepali rupees.
Chinese investors pledged more than half of the total FDI commitments Nepal received during the year as the Himalayan country received a total FDI commitments of 15 billion Nepali rupees.
Nepali industrialists said the increased investment in Nepal should not be taken as a surprise given that China has been investing heavily across the world.
“Chinese investors are seeing a lot of investment opportunities in Nepal and they are coming here,” Bhola Nath Pathak, project coordinator of Hongshi Shivam Cement, a Nepal-China joint venture industrial unit, told Xinhua.
During the Nepal Investment Summit organised by the Nepal government here in March, Chinese investors pledged the highest amount compared to investors from other countries.
The Chinese delegation committed FDI of $8.2 billion against total investment pledges of $13.52 billion from seven countries.
Entrepreneurs, however, say the realisation of pledged FDI commitments has remained sluggish.
“The investors still have to encounter many bureaucratic hurdles,” said Pashupati Murarka, former President of Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI).
“The government should clear the bureaucratic hurdles quickly for those investors who have received the licence to develop the industry.”
Nepali government officials said they were making efforts to ease investors in Nepal.
“We initiated the process of legal and institutional reforms and simplified procedures for registering industries,” DoI Director General Shankar Aryal said.
Nepal has introduced new Industrial Enterprises Act, Special Economic Zone Act and new Foreign Investment Policy lately offering more facilities to investors and easing the process of investing in Nepal.